In alpine skiing at the VII Olympic Winter Games, six medals were awarded (3 men and 3 women) in three disciplines: Downhill, Giant Slalom, Special Slalom. The first three classified in each race, in addition to the Olympic medal, also obtained that of the World Alpine Ski Championships. The two combined races assigned only the medals valid for the World Championships. Two more medals were awarded in the men's 2-man bobsleigh and 4-man bobsleigh.
The ice hockey tournament was also considered valid as the 23rd ice hockey world championship and the 34th European championship organized by the International Ice Hockey Federation. The games were held at the Olympic Ice Stadium in Cortina D'Ampezzo.
In figure skating, medals were awarded in three specialties, while four medals were awarded in speed skating, played on Lake Misurina.
Nordic skiing awarded medals in eight specialties. Compared to the previous edition, some novelties were introduced in the program of cross-country skiing, already included in that of the 1954 World Championships: in the women's field, the 3x5 km relay was added; in the men's field, the 18 km was replaced by the 15 km and the 30 km.
The ski jumping and cross-country skiing competitions, both male and female, were also considered valid for the 1956 Nordic World Ski Championships, of which they constituted the twenty-first edition, while the Nordic combined only assigned the Olympic title. As far as participation is concerned, the Soviet Union made its Olympic debut in Cortina d'Ampezzo, while East and West Germany presented a single team.